“Get back here, Flinthammer!”
“Ah called ye ‘Mountaineer Pebblebitty,'” Ringo Flinthammer protested, “Not wha’ever ye think ye …”
“There are chunks of things more impressive than you in my morning bowel movement,” she growled, leaning forward, glaring at him with wild eyes. “I guess the big, bad dragon slayer doesn’t take what we do here in the mountaineers very seriously.”
“Ah do! O’erwise, Ah would nae be here …”
“Do you see this gate? Do you SEE this GATE?”
“The great huge gate behind ye? It’s hard ta miss it …”
“This GATE is all that stands between Ironforge Mountain and ANARCHY!”
“Actually, th’ Dark Irons have a constitutional monarchy, jus’ like we do, with senators an’ ev’rything.”
“That ‘constitutional monarchy’ hates our values, our freedom and our very way of life and THIS GATE is all that stops them from conquering all of Khaz Modan!”
“Sure, e’cept, no’ really.”
“‘Not really?’ By the Light, speak Common!”
“No’ two miles east o’ here, there’s a pass leading into the Badlands, which is right o’ th’ front door step of Uldaman, which is crawlin’ wit’ Dark Irons. An’ on the far side of this wee gate, th’ Thorium Brotherhood set up shop several years back. They offer direct gryphon flights to Thelsamar, for Khaz’s sake!”
Ringo could practically smell the smoke coming out of Pebblebitty’s ears.
“We mountaineers are the thin green line that keeps Khaz Modan free! You want me on this gate — you NEED me on this gate! Now, you will respect my authority or I will bust you down so far, you’ll be guarding the kindergarten class in Anvilmar!”
Ringo counted to 10 and forced his fists to unclench.
“It’s a giant locked gate, Pebblebitty. There’s a second on th’ far side of th’ pass. No one’s openin’ the great rusty bastard without ev’ryone in th’ south tower hearin’ about it long before any great army can sneak through. Ye could go sit in th’ tower an’ guard it with a sniper rifle and a spyglass!”
Pebblebitty opened her mouth to bite off Ringo’s head, then shut her mouth again, the flush in her cheeks cooling.
“I actually suggested that. Captain Ruglefuss insisted I guard it in person. He didn’t seem to value my inspirational speeches.”
Ringo nodded, but said nothing. He was a married man, after all, and had learned that there were times it was wiser to simply shut up.
“Now,” Pebblebitty said, regaining her composure, “Someone ought to go keep an eye on that Badlands pass, Flinthammer. Get to it.”